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A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages: The Boom, Bust, and Boom Culture of M&A

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Modern mergers and acquisitions, or M&A as it's more commonly known, is a new phenomenon. The buying and selling, the breaking up and combining of companies—the essence of M&A—has been a part of commerce throughout history, but only in our era has M&A itself become a business. In 2007, before the recession hit, it was a $4.4 trillion global enterprise. And yet, ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 163)
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Judie
What do some people do when they have so much money, or access to so much money, that they can’t buy enough things – houses, jewelry, art, etc.– to make a dent in their capital? In many cases, they buy companies, even if the companies really don’t want to be bought. It’s like a game of monopoly but instead of buying houses and hotels, they buy corporations. For real. The one with the most at the end wins, but their thirst is still unsatiated.
In the meantime, owners, employees, cities and the p
...more
Ian
How could you write such a boring book on such an intriguing topic? So dissappointing. Well-researched and occasionally interesting despite the clunky and verbose writing, so it gets 2 stars.
Ubaid Dhiyan
A giant jumble of M&A anecdotes and war stories that seem to have been written in a drug induced hallucination. John Close dumps in his book so many random facts and characters that they stop making sense half way through his rambling sentences. The book is held together, barely, by the intensity of weirdness and hubris that characterized M&A in the last fifty years, especially the 80s. Not recommended.
Doug Cornelius
The 1908s was the start of the M&A boom, glorified on the big screen by Wall Street. John Weir Close looks back at those days in A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages.

The author is a lawyer and a journalist. He founded the M&A Journal and was an editor at The American Lawyer. His book seems to wrap more context, color and gossip around his old stories on M&A deals. The book reads like a collection of stories and lacks a coherent narrative.

You may guess from the title that Mr. Close may have
...more
Matt
Beginning in 1981, the business of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) started to change the American and later the world economy. In his book A Giant-Cow Tipping by Savages, John Weir Close attempts to tell the history and the larger-than-life personalities that dominated the M&A industry. However, the mishmash of short biographies and short stories documenting major deals is an informative, but meandering read.

The title of this book comes from Ted Turner describing his feelings about AOL-Ti
...more
Diane
DRAFT*DRAFT*DRAFT

I want to get something up as I am finding this a very slow read. So, once again my thanks to First Reads and here are my preliminary thoughts:

Most readers will find this a detailed story of the rise (etc.) of M&A in New York City. Some great tales as well as some extraneous details.

The author generally has a good ear for language, but occasionally he is tone-deaf.

The book could be more aptly titled. This is an NYC story that excludes other major financial markets, Silicon

...more
Claire
I received "A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages" as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Having been born in the mid-to-late 1980s, my big accomplishment of the decade was potty training. Having been a history major and later a non-profit/museum professional, the world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was not one I was familiar with. So going in, it's safe to say that both the era and the business were new territory for me.

That said, even for a novice, Cow-Tipping is a fascinating look at the cutthroat
...more
Sean
I actually wish there was a rating under 1 star. I usually enjoy real life business case studies - Den of Thieves, Barbarians at the Gate, Predator's Ball- seeing the inner working of corporations as they build, destroy, grow and die... The personalities and the energy is usually fun... this book was anything but fun. The random stories, the lack of consistency, the boredom - this book was not interesting, fun or engaging... It became a real waste of time.
Bill Zawrotny
Very disjointed and difficult to follow, even for an M&A professional like myself. There were definitely a lot of interesting stories interspersed throughout the book, but the stuff in between was difficult to trudge through. I cannot recommend this book to others.
Rushabh
unreadable. lots of name dropping, probably makes sense if you know everything about the industry's history, but makes little sense otherwise. hard to follow the narrative and understand chronology or characters. read a sample first.
Meril
Too gossipy, not enough substance
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